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House of Lords Reform Bill — Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:13 pm on 17th May 2011.

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Photo of Lord Strathclyde Lord Strathclyde Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 4:13 pm, 17th May 2011

My Lords, it is likely that the salary would be set slightly lower than that of a Member of Parliament, but slightly higher than Members of the devolved Assemblies and Parliaments. It may be that the White Paper says what the noble Lord says, in which case it is an error. Transitional Members would continue on the same basis as currently-namely, they would receive the daily allowance.

On the question of transition, the draft Bill proposes that, with each third of elected Members coming in, a third of the House would depart. My noble friend Lord Steel has consistently said that there is a large number of Peers waiting to retire, so I suspect that a number of Peers would take the opportunity of the elections not to remain behind. Of those who did, if there were insufficient retirees then within the parties and the Cross Benches a decision would have to be taken. We have a precedent for that in 1999, when elections took place to reduce the numbers of Peers. There is no reason why that should not happen again.